Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
ody Cannon, the lead singer of Whiskey Myers, sported an Alan Jackson t-shirt. Of course, paying homage to one of the greats of the somewhat recent traditionalist movement was great to see.
Credit goes to Cannon, but there was scant musical resemblance by the band to Jackson's music. Truth be told, Whiskey Myers more often than not occupied the space of southern rock and simply rock with a tinge of country thrown into the mix.
Cannon knew a thing or two about putting a song across to the 4,200 fans in the house. He sang with vocal dexterity, seemingly getting better as he went along. That was particularly as the concert reached its zenith with "John Wayne" and a nice touch of harp from Cannon and a keening take to close out the night with Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son," an antiwar song that the Texas band did proud.
For Cannon and the band, it was more about the execution and putting their heart into the music as he wasn't the biggest yapper with the crowd, which often provided a backing chorus.
The focal point time and time and time again was twin guitar aces John Jeffers and Cody Tate. Each took numerous leads, many times within the same song. In trading guitar leads, they often congregated together near the center of the Stage. Tate was seemingly smooth and effortless, occasionally playing slide for a different touch. Expansive when needed - a few songs stretched on for a good while - Jeffers and Tate were the musical heart of Whiskey Myers and with good reason.
While Whiskey Myers was guitar centered, pianist/percussionist Tony Kent also enjoyed the chance to shine as the night wore on with a few songs (the ballad "Heart of Stone" and "Bitch") being more piano driven.
Independently based record label wise, Whiskey Myers has developed a following the old-fashioned way – touring and doing it their way. The latter also meant no encore after 20 songs and 110 minutes. Labels – make that t-shirts – may not tell the full story, but Whiskey Myers made for a good night of music.
Winchester 49 preceded the headliners with an enjoyable set that was on the more traditional country side. While the sound was not the cleanest (neither was that of opener Matt Koziol) as vocals were mixed too low at times, lead singer Isaac Gibson knew his way around a country song. The country bona fides were further established with pedal steel courtesy of Noah Patrick. The closing "Last Call," was honky tonk heaven.
The Virginia-bred band has a lot to offer with a sound setting it apart from most of today's country mainstream.
Koziol veered more towards Outlaw Country during his six-song stint particularly with his engaging one-two opening shots of "Loving You Loving Me" and "You Better Run, Son." His take of Jamey Johnson's "In Color" made a lot of sense, but a slowed down version of the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" did not.